From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]
LIBERAL : WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE ENEMIES?
CONSERVATIVE : BECAUSE WE ARE ENEMIES
IS THE U.S. SUPPORTING ANOTHER SADDAM IN UZBEKISTAN?
PLEASE PUBLISH THESE DOCUMENTS
“Worst of all is what appears to be the philosophy underlying the current US view of Uzbekistan: that September 11 divided the World into two camps in the “War against Terrorism” and that Karimov is on “our” side.
If Karimov is on “our” side, then this war cannot be simply between the forces of good and evil. It must be about more complex things, like securing the long-term US military presence in Uzbekistan. I silently wept at the 11 September commemoration here. The right words on New York have all been said. But last week was also another anniversary – the US-led overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. The subsequent dictatorship killed, dare I say it, rather more people than died on September 11. Should we not remember then also, and learn from that too? I fear that we are heading down the same path of US-sponsored dictatorship here. It is ironic that the beneficiary is perhaps the most unreformed of the World’s old communist leaders.”
“President Karimov has admitted to 100 executions a year but human rights groups believe there are more. Between 7,000 and 10,000 political and religious prisoners are currently detained, many after trials before kangaroo courts with no representation. Terrible torture is commonplace: the EU is currently considering a demarche over the terrible case of two Muslims tortured to death in jail apparently with boiling water. Two leading dissidents, Elena Urlaeva and Larissa Vdovna, were two weeks ago committed to a lunatic asylum, where they are being drugged, for demonstrating on human rights. Opposition political parties remain banned. There is no doubt that September 11 gave the pretext to crack down still harder on dissent under the guise of counter-terrorism.”
– leaked official telegrams from former British Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan Craig Murray
“I expressed my view strongly, but only internally. It wasn’t me that leaked my views to the Financial Times but plainly that has led to my removal from my post.” He added: “This sends a very strong signal that since the start of the war on terrorism, anyone who even internally questions what’s happening from a liberal standpoint is going to seriously damage their employment prospects.”
“As Britain’s outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray helped expose vicious human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of Islam Karimov. He is now a prominent critic of Western policy in the region.”
PLEASE REPOST THESE DOCUMENTS
“If you could publish, host and link to these documents on your own webspace, then it will be harder for anybody to be prosecuted here in the UK, and ensure that they get maximum coverage. Craig Murray stood up for what many of us believe, and it cost him his Job, his health, and his professional reputation. The least we can do his stand by him as he defies the UK government’s attempts at censorship, and possible prosecution.”
The first document contains the text of several telegrams that Craig Murray sent back to London from 2002 to 2004, warning that the information being passed on by the Uzbek security services was torture-tainted, and challenging MI6 claims that the information was nonetheless “useful”.
The second document is the text of a legal opinion from the Foreign Office’s Michael Wood, arguing that the use by intelligence services of information extracted through torture does not constitute a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.
Constituent: “This question is for Mr Straw; Have you ever read any documents where the intelligence has been procured through torturous means?”
Jack Straw: “Not to the best of my knowledge… let me make this clear… the British government does not support torture in any circumstances. Full stop. We do not support the obtaining of intelligence by torture, or its use.” – Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, election hustings, Blackburn, April 2005
“I was summoned to the UK for a meeting on 8 March 2003. Michael Wood gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture… On behalf of the intelligence services, Matthew Kydd said that they found some of the material very useful indeed with a direct bearing on the war on terror. Linda Duffield said that she had been asked to assure me that my qualms of conscience were respected and understood.” – Ambassador Craig Murray, memo to the Foreign Office, July 2004
“Above all we need to care about the 22 million Uzbek people, suffering from poverty and lack of freedom. They are not just pawns in the new Great Game.”
– former Ambassador Craig Murray, from the leaked telegrams